Following one of the most disastrous seasons in franchise history, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Sunday afternoon the firing of both GM Dave Nonis and interim coach Peter Horachek.
Nonis, who has been the Maple Leafs GM since January 2013 and had worked for the club since December 2008, was in part responsible for the Toronto team that made the playoffs in the 2013 season. However, the team failed to recapture the success they achieved in the lockout-shortened season in subsequent campaigns. The year after their crushing seventh game defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins in 2012-13, the Maple Leafs finished sixth in the Atlantic Division and followed if up with a seventh place finish this season.
Under Nonis, the Maple Leafs posted a record of 94-97-21 and failed to reach the playoffs in two of his three seasons as the team's architect. Some saw the writing on the wall for Nonis when Toronto brought assistant GM Kyle Dubas into the mix during the off-season.
Of the notable moves Nonis made as Maple Leafs' GM, none will be heralded as greatly as his trade of David Clarkson and Clarkson's massive contract to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for the injured winger Nathan Horton. Horton will likely be on long-term injured reserve for the duration of his contract, freeing up cap space for Toronto in the coming years.
While Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan searches for a new GM, Dubas and director of player personnel Mark Hunter will take control of the club.
As for Horachek, he is let go just over four months after landing the job as Maple Leafs interim coach. During his tenure as Toronto's bench boss, a span of 42 games, Horachek led the Maple Leafs to a 9-28-5 record. The firing marks the second coach to be fired by the Maple Leafs this season, as the team parted ways with Randy Carlyle on Jan. 6.
Horachek had previously coached the Florida Panthers, posting a 26-36-4 record in 66 games. Before landing with the Panthers, Horachek spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators under Barry Trotz. No replacement for Horachek has been named.
Along with the firings of Nonis and Horachek, the Maple Leafs also announced Steve Spott, Chris Dennis and Rick St. Croix have been let go. Steve Staios, who is Toronto's manager of player development, retained his post.